Today I was going to my physics profs office to find the answers to last weeks homework set and on the door next to his office there was a delightful little article written by a Dr. Janet D. Stemwedel. Rather than have me describe the article, you can READ IT YOURSELF.
You know what, she is absolutely right about everything and that's why I'm here at school. I'm in my second year and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. One of the worst things ever is when people ask me what I'm going to school for, what I want to be. I've never had an answer and I still don't. For the first year it was okay to say that "I'm going into sciences but I'm still not entirely sure". After a year though, I still had no idea and people were still asking that question... me included. What the hell am I doing here? What do I hope to accomplish? Not nothing... but nothing specific either. For a while I told people I'm thinking about being a prof. I don't really wanna be a prof but it sounds like an interesting career and it shuts people the hell up. That's just a scapegoat really though. I still have no clue what I actually want to do with my life.
Until today when I read that article and everything made sense. What am I going to school for? I like to learn. Yes, I can admit it and I'm not the least bit ashamed.
MY NAME IS DYLAN R. BRECK. I'M AN UNDERGRAD AND I LIKE LEARNING THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD I LIVE IN!
It doesn't even matter what I'm learning just so long as it's something new. If I don't understand it, that's even fucking better cause I'll go read it up until I do understand it. The girl I drove home with for Christmastime Break (A biology major? Biochem? Pharmacy? One of those three) talked for like an hour about these microorganisms whose name I can't remember but you can put them in space and they go into super hibernation and live! In space! How frickin' cool is that!
I love it here at school. The late nights scrambling to finish something, the early half-waking mornings, the hours of frantic procrastination in an attempt to keep your brain from being crushed by the insane amount of things that it should probably know by now. It's all so awesome! And best of all is that I'm good at it too. I
My favorite class right now is British poetry- a class that I'm not actually registered in (and I don't go to it nearly enough as I would like) but also Archaeology is pretty amazing and Anthropology too! Differential Equations is pretty goddamned cool stuff too - even if it is a giant bastard to actually do. I can calculate someones blood alcohol level, how fucking cool is that! But what about Linear Algebra and how it connects to basically every type of math ever, or how Vector Calculus makes doing physics like 50 times easier. (Seriously, intro calculus should be taught in grade 9 math... it simplifies so many things)
This school thing is so much better than real life. I can order books in from the four corners of the world without any charge, I can peruse academic journals out of a curious interest in a subject, I get free internet! I enjoy my little academic "not-life" bubble so much that maybe I will become a prof so that I'll never have to join in on that big dark scary adult "real world"
I don't want a job, I don't want a future. There's plenty of time to worry about that stuff when it actually matters. Frick, I've only technically been an adult for 3 weeks and people have been asking about this shit for the last 5,6 years. That's too much pressure for a kid. Can I just find something that I really enjoy doing and stick with it for a while... like maybe the rest of my life?
Of course, when people ask me "What do you want to do?" I can't rightly tell them "Learn". They won't get it. People never get anything so beautifully simple. Their minds just can't handle the complexity of it. They'll ask more questions. Questions that I can't actually answer. Questions like "What sort of a career exactly is 'learning'?" "How much does that pay?" "Is there a high demand for that nowadays?" "What exactly is it that you learn?" and "What sort of a job can you get with a degree in math?"
Actually, I should probably find out the answer to that last one sometime soon.